Steps to Create a Skills-Based Resume


Different resume formats emphasize different strengths.  If you have a number of years of directly related work experience (i.e., you’ve done the job before), you could emphasize this using a chronological format.  But most PCC students and graduates are either entering the work force for the first time or changing careers.  Either way, they need to emphasize skills, tools and training in their new career field.  A skills-based resume does just that.


I.                   Self-Assessment: Define Your Skills/Abilities

1.      Make a list of all your “work-like” experiences & activities related to your target job.

·        Related employment, including part-time or summer

·        Volunteer positions

·        Internships (cooperative education)

·        Relevant school activities (clubs, student government, special projects)

2.       List all training – college courses, conferences & workshops, labs, projects.

3.       List skills, tools, techniques you learned & used in each of the above (#1 & 2).


II.                Research Your Target Job to Identify Required Skills

1.         Examine the job posting of your targeted job & make a list of all required skills, abilities, & tools.

2.         Supplement scanty job postings by: (1) contacting employer for more information, and/or (2) referring to other job descriptions, such as those in the DOT (Dictionary of Occupational Titles) or O-Net at


III.             Describe, Group & Title Relevant Skills

1.         Choose the most relevant skills & abilities from your list that match the ones required by your target job. If you don’t have a perfect match, think about transferable skills that demonstrate similar skills, abilities, and tools.

2.         List accomplishments, tasks & projects that demonstrate how you used these skills.  Use short skill statements that begin with action verbs (tracked, organized, assembled, installed, etc.)

3.         Group similar skills & accomplishments & give each group a skill heading title (e.g. Payroll Preparation and Taxes; Programming and Development; Staff Supervision/Training; Project Management)


IV.              Write Your Resume

1.         Put Objective first – use specific job title of the position

2.         Follow with your skill statements & skill headings.  This will be the main section of your resume.

3.         Then briefly list your Education & Work History.  Put most relevant section first.

4.         Do not list your references.  Use a separate sheet or write References on Request.



See the on-line samples or our resume samples available in the Sylvania Student Employment & Cooperative Education office for industry-specific guidelines.  You can also refer to job search and resume books, such as those by Yana Parker & Regina Pontow.


Tip: Learn how to prepare and submit your resume electronically with our Electronic Resumes Guide.

Webmaster, 2013